my road back to alcoholism

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I’ve got a lotta nerve coming here telling you about a cocktail.  Because if you ever had the pleasure of meeting me in real life, the first couple of things you’d pick up before too late is A). you didn’t really find it a pleasure at all and, B). Uh-hum… I don’t drink.  Wooh-oh wait, that’s not entirely accurate.  More like, I don’t drink ANYMORE.  (Gaaasspp~  AA!!)  Pfffff, sorry no.  I wish the story was that interesting.  The thing is, I was no different than any rule-abiding youngsters out there who at the height of their kick-ass erra, drank for absolutely no apparent reason just to wake up with my neck flaccidly draping over the rim of any my toilet soiled in… well yeah (the number of shower I pulled off safely under this no-state of mind was pretty impressive in retrospect).  Then at the first grasp of any level of consciousness to speak of, swore to lay off this demonic fluid for the rest of her life only to have the blur repeat itself the next Friday and, one morning… I actually did.  For good.

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That morning was about ten years ago.  Yup.  I didn’t say I’m proud.  You see, I’m very fond of the level of social fluency that could only exist between a loosely held cigarette (never smoked in my life) and a glass of swirling spirit (it’s really all about the Europeans…).  I get it, but I do neither for even better reasons which is quite a shame because I’m a pretty good drinker * (lighting up my imaginary cigarette).  Just… somewhere along the line, the purpose of it all had escaped me.  But one night back on a trip to Taipei, I had the chance to visit a joint serving wonderfully inventive and delicious cocktails with good conversations on the side, reminded me that a night with a few glasses doesn’t necessarily have to end up with dinner coming out of my nose and poor judgements.  It was nice.  Hum, I think I can pick this up again.  Guys, this is my pre-mid-life crisis.  I’m gonna Don Draperize myself (I realize he’s probably a sctoch-man but these things take time).

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I’m leading with this, my favorite cocktail back in a time that was… quite blurred in memory – amaretto sour.  The classic inspiration I had in Taipei had just the right hint of cherry syrup which gave it its wonderful balance, and I was determined that it wouldn’t for any reason, NOT translate into the use of fresh cherries right?  So a couple afternoons ago just after my first cup of coffee **, I gave it a go.  Besides the usual suspects of amaretto liquor, lemon juice and whatnot, those online suggestions of bourbon really spoke in tune with my ambition to cut onto the fast lane.  I mashed the cherries with sugar and was delighted to see their beautifully colored juice come out.  I mixed my first drink, took a few sip and thought the addition of brown sugar could be nice.  I went back and made the second glass and… I don’t really want to elaborate on the rest of that afternoon…  Mid-way through my second drink… bad things happened… something along the line with being forced into a Number-Two and almost vomited simultaneously…  To be even more clear, please go back to * and swing a big-red-hot slap across my lying face, but also keep in mind of ** while you’re at it.

Geez… this road is gonna be longer than I thought…

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Ingredients:

  • 4~5 cherries, pitted
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • 2 ounces (4 tbsp) of Amaretto
  • 1 1/2 ounce (3 tbsp) of freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained of seeds and pulp
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tbsp) of bourbon
  • 2 cups of ice

Add the pitted cherries and brown sugar in the shaker and mash with a rolling pin or wooden spoon until the sugar has melted and a lot of juice has released.  Add the amaretto, lemon juice, bourbon and ice.  Close the lid of the shaker and shake until the shaker is almost too cold to hold, approx 15 ~ 20 seconds.  Pour the cocktail into a pre-chilled glass through the shaker-strainer.  If you want the mashed cherries and a few ice-cubes in the cocktail like I do, open the shaker and fish out the cherries with a spoon.  Add to the cocktail with a few ice-cubes.

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